GPS: 31.7162882, -94.60493129999998
The horse fair is held each year in early June when 10,000 – 15,000 English and Welsh gypsies, Scottish travellers and Irish travellers gather to buy and sell horses, meet with friends and relations, and celebrate their culture. These different ethnic groups share a similar lifestyle and culture, and many Gypsies and Travellers regard Appleby Fair as the most important date in the calendar, as it remains one of the largest of their gatherings. An estimated 25-30,000 non-Gypsy people visit the fair during the week.
The fair is held outside the town of Appleby where the Roman Road crosses Long Marton Road, not far from Gallows Hill, named after the public hangings that were once carried out there. In the mid 20th century the story developed that the fair originated with a royal charter to the borough of Appleby from King James II of England in 1685. However, recent research has shown that the 1685 charter, which was cancelled before it was enrolled, is of no relevance. Appleby’s medieval borough fair, held at Whitsuntide, ceased in 1885. The ‘New Fair’, held in early June on Gallows Hill, which was then unenclosed land outside the borough boundary, began in 1775 for sheep and cattle drovers and horse dealers to sell their stock; by 20th Century it had evolved into a major Gypsy/Traveller occasion. No one bestowed the New Fair, no-one ever owned it, no-one was ever charged to attend it: it was and remains, a true people’s fair